ServiceNow and Nolio, a match made in Heaven?

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A few months ago, a customer told me about Nolio and what it can do. This was related to a study they were doing to try to find a way to automate all pre-defined tasks in their Change Management and Request Management catalogue. They tried to find this possibility in ServiceNow Runbook and compared it with Nolio, but they found Nolio to be an alternative providing them with capabilities even beyond the automation they wanted to achieve!

I thought this was worth some further investigation and below you will find a short introduction of Nolio and the product:

1. Nolio ASAP

ASAP is the ‘development’ area of Nolio, where the design of the ‘release’ process will take place. Any pre-defined process to release, change, create or better said: “do something” will be put in a worklflow process. The process is totally disconnected from the actual machines it has to run on, it will only focus on the kind or type of machine that is used (e.g. MySQL database or Active Directory etc).

2. Nolio Release Operation Center

Operation Center is where engineers can select, start and control the pre-defined scenarios from the ASAP area. Here they can select against which machines they might want to run scenarios and what kind of input they would like to give (parameters, software versions etc).

These two parts are run via a Nolio server.
This is also where the scenarios are stored and where they are run from.

In a ‘default setup’ this already sounds as a powerful tool, but what is possible if we bring ServiceNow in the game?
Continue reading…»

Interesting Forrester Analyst information on getting a Service Catalog

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Just a short article on Service Catalog – a topic which nowadays almost always comes up at an implementation of an IT Service Management application we perform.
And still the topic raises lots of questions and still the service catalog has proven hard to implement for customers.

In THIS short blog article from Forrester analyst Stephen Mann, Stephen touches some useful points and provides some helpful guidelines.

Worth reading I think.
Challenge for most Service Catalog implementations still is: don’t make it an IT-driven initiative, facilitating IT requirements with no real value to the users of the catalog (the business).

But when analyst writes about it, this sometimes can make all the difference to an organization.

So maybe you can use this when starting your service catalog initiative within your organization.

If you have any questions, let me know by sending me an email on rik.burgering@2e2.nl.

Using ServiceNow to support non-ITIL processes – a practical sample

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ServiceNow – is it the process or the platform?

ServiceNow is sexy! ServiceNow is flexible! ServiceNow can do everything!

ServiceNow sells. ServiceNow is magic…..

ServiceNow is booming: it is growing very rapidly and with such an ease, that it looks as if the sky is the limit. How is that possible? What is it with ServiceNow that allows customers to think that they can do ‘everything’ and that the benefit over any other product is huge? Is it the process? The ‘not so sexy’ and ‘we always complain’ area we call Service Management with the very well known and rather strict ‘ITIL’ process? I think that would be impossible. Is it something else?

I think it is not the process that we put in the tool. One could even argue that other products have a better grip on process.
I think that it is the platform.
And that platform can be used to harness a lot more than only Service Management processes.

I will try to give you a short overview of the possibilities to expand the use of ServiceNow, or better said: the Glide Platform.
This Glide Platform is the basis of all possibilities within ServiceNow, the marketed product.
Effectively, ServiceNow is the Glide Platform with many useful ‘pre-configured’ applications in it and can be used to drive your Service Management organization.

The Glide Platform allows you to create any table with any kind of customization you want.

You can use this to register stuff and information and you can automate everything around it. The engines used to send email, schedule processing, control form behavior and lay-out give the setup a very rich feeling.
If you would add to that the fact that this can all (!) be done from within the web browser GUI, you understand that it is almost too good to be true.

Some examples should complete this plea.
Continue reading…»

Reporting from the Service Catalog – 2 steps giving infinite possibilities…..

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Reporting is one of the easiest and most straight forward things to do in Service-now.com. No training needed, just a little understanding and a hint will do.
When you know the ‘shortcuts’, it is really easy to do.
Let me give you an example:

If you are in a list view of a table you want to report on and you have made a query to show what you need, you might want to have that set of data in a report.
Right clicking on the header bar and selecting ‘Pie Chart’ will create a report (a Pie Chart of course).
Now, to enable the report to be saved and edited, simply click the ‘+’ sign on the left top corner and the reporting header will show!
Of course you need to have the correct rights and roles to be able to do this….

In pictures:

Continue reading…»

SNC User Onboarding – Part 2

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In one of my previous posts I explained what we did to have flexible user onboarding.
This is all working very well, but has also got a risk in it structure: people can use different email addresses and create an overcrowded user registration.

For this, the following structure has been thought out.

All users will be onboarded and connected to a / their specific company.
The users connected to specific customers will remain, but all connected to a ‘generic’ company need to be evaluated to check if their presence is still necessary.

The simple rule will be: if you have not been active

SNC User Onboarding – Part 1

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Some time ago I was implementing for a customer that did not know the list of users.

Effectively, they had the whole country as a possible customer for their support instance!
Of course this is not a standard situation, but it gives a nice example of the possibilities to control users, onboarding, company association and actualisation.

Let’s look at one of the subjects and what we came up with. Maybe you would have interesting ideas as well?

1. Onboarding:
To make sure all thinkable users will be able to register we enabled two things: automatically create users from incoming email and dynamically create users from their username on the incident form.
These two ways cover the ways to register a ticket in the instance.

Continue reading…»

Forgot Password?

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Every now and then we get questions from customers about passwords.
Sometimes they forgot what it was for the local support site, sometimes because they locked themselves out of their own instance.
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